NPF accuses Cong of nexus with underground groups

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Kohima, May 18 (UNI) The Nagaland peoples Front (NPF) today refuted the allegations of the Congress that the Neiphiu Rio government was directly or indirectly patronising certain underground groups and levelled counter-allegations on the Congress-underground nexus.

In a release issued here, NPF president Shurhozelie said, ''The Congress's accusations are blatant lies meant to mislead the people.

''In a letter dated March 12, addressed to the state BJP president, an underground faction directed the party to pull out two of its Legislators from the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland(DAN) and join the Congress for formation of a new government,'' Mr Shurhozelie said.

He alleged that the letter had warned of ''dire consequences'' if it was not complied with.

''This is a clear indicator of a nexus between a particular faction of the underground groups and the Congress,'' he said, adding that the party was trying to pull down a popularly elected government through the underground cadres' help.

He also urged the people of Nagaland to judge the motive behind the Dimapur bandh called by the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) tomorrow, despite clear order of the Supreme Court prohibiting such bandhs.

On the enforcement of the Cease-Fire Ground Rules (CFGR) and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, he alleged that the Congress was trying to mislead the people.

He also quoted the exact text of the SOP, which stated, ''The law and order situation arising out of insurgency should not be treated like an other normal law and order situation and therefore, it should be handled by state police and central Para-military forces together.'' Maintaining that this meant that factional clashes were definitely political in nature and could not be termed as mere law and order problem, Mr Shurhozelie asked the Congress to be careful not to undermine the Naga political issue by terming it as such.

''It is because of the existence of a legitimate political issue that the Centre agreed to have ceasefire and dialogue with the NSCN,'' he said.

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